Nell Holstrom wanted no part of her grandfather's barren gold mine that had taken the lives of her mother, father, and younger brother; even if there may still be hidden wealth inside. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn.Asa Stone was barely more than a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe; and when the smoke cleared, his father and brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt, Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the old inn he'd inherited. Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster hits the inn, Asa retreats into despair and Nell is forced to return to her family's mine. Asa faces the hard fact: He'll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?
Once upon a time, best-selling author Loree Lough literally sang for her supper, performing before packed audiences throughout the Midwest. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two for her grandkids or to sing at weddings or funerals, but she mostly just writes. Over the years, her stories have earned hundreds of industry and Readers' Choice awards and 4- and 5-star reviews.Loree has nearly five million copies of her books in circulation, and in March 2014, she added her hundredth published book to the shelves. She has written fiction and nonfiction for kids and adults (2,500-plus articles and 68 short stories), and four of her novels have been optioned for movies. To date, there are almost 66,000 letters in her "Reader Mail" file, and she has answered every one, personally. (A carton of books is on its way to Corinna P. of San Antonio, Texas, for writing the 65,999th letter. Corinna said she plans to donate the books to her local library!)Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach to teaching makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers' organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, and college and high school writing programs in the U.S. and abroad.A writer who believes in "giving back," Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers' Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and several other worthwhile organizations (see the "Giving Back" tab at her Web site, http://www.loreelough.com, for a complete list). She splits her time between a tiny home in the Baltimore suburbs and an even tinier cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she continues to perfect her Critter Tracks Identification skills. She shares her life with her real-life hero, Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of "wolf stuff."